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Europe Packing List for Families (2023): All the Essentials You Need

Posted by Jel Navarro on
Packing list for Europe

Despite being the 2nd smallest continent in the world, Europe is a super diverse region! There’s lots of countries to explore with varying landscapes, cultures and weather. Which is why lots of first-time travelers are confused about packing for their European trip.

While climate is the same from north to south, the degree of coldness, hotness or wetness differs a lot! Then there’s the problem of sticking out like a sore thumb if you don’t know the local code of dressing.

But hey, that’s why we’re here! We’ve curated a basic Europe packing list for families below to guide you on your exciting trip to the west.

Our Complete Europe Checklist for Families

Packing list for Europe trip

When packing for your trip to Europe trip, ask yourself 3 questions:

1. Which countries or cities are you visiting?

2. What’s the local weather like?

3. What activities are you doing?

Simple yet very important! These questions can help downsize your luggage so you’ll pack only the things you need. Use our Europe packing list to guide you. However, don’t be afraid to change or add a few things here and there! You can always tweak the list according to your destination (and needs).

⚠️ COVID-19 Update: Due to the current pandemic, some European countries are currently prohibiting the entry of non-essential travelers or tourists. Please visit this website for more country specific COVID-19 information.

Carry-On Luggage: As always, we’re starting with the carry-on luggage! Pack your most important items including travel documents, medications and electronics. It’s possible to travel with a carry-on only for Europe. But when you have kids, it’s challenging! And that deserves a separate blog post on its own. For now, here are the things you need to pack in your carry on bag:

Carry on essentials for Europe

☑ Travel documents - US citizens need just their passport for visiting Schengen countries in Europe. But keep in mind that there’s a 90-day limit to this! Other travel documents you’ll need are photo IDs (PhotoAid makes it super easy and convenient to take your passport photo using only your phone), itinerary, tickets and boarding passes. Keep all these documents secured and separated in an Extra Small Cube. This way, you can easily grab the cube during airport inspections.

☑ Wallet / money - Keep your wallet (with money and cards) inside your personal bag at all times! Pro Tip: Bring an extra credit or debit card for emergency purposes. Banks sometimes cancel international transactions even if you’ve notified them beforehand.

☑ Other valuables - Special jewelry and important electronics? Pack them in your carry-on or personal bag as well!

Valuables like jewelry and laptop packed in carry on

☑ Toiletries - Pack the basics like toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and facial wash inside a TSA Approved Clear Toiletry Bag. The easy-grip handle makes it simple to grab and place in the airport security bin within seconds. No leaks too because of the double zipper feature!

☑ First aid kit - A few packs of headache, stomach and allergy meds should also go in a small first aid pouch. Prescription meds should also be packed inside your carry on.

☑ Change of clothes - Bring a lightweight outfit and don’t forget extra undies and socks! Keep them hidden in your carry on using our Small Cube

Small packing cube with change of clothes

☑ Comfort - Also don’t forget items to make your flight comfy! Like a neck pillow, scarf or travel blanket, ear plugs, earphones and some snacks!

Checked Luggage: Planning outfits for your European trip is tricky. But here are two tips: pack layers and always choose neutral options. The local weather changes so frequently! And you’ll want to blend right in with locals (which can also be very stylish). Here’s what your checked luggage should include:

Checked luggage packing list for Europe

Clothes for Mom:

☑ Jeans (1 to 2) - Opt for dark wash jeans that you can dress up or down! Wear one on the flight and pack another in your luggage.

☑ Leggings / tights (2 to 3) - These pack light and can add warmth to dresses, skirts or even pants. You can go for tights under dresses or skirts and leggings that you can wear with dressy tops for a more casual day out.

☑ Dresses / skirts (1 to 2) - Great option for more hot days of walking around or formal night outs! A classic black dress is a great option for dressing up or down (add jean jacket and sneakers for during the day or red lips and wedges for night).

Woman smiling while on Paris

☑ Short sleeve tops (2 to 3) - Pack a few casual blouses that you can re-wear with multiple bottoms.

☑ Shirts / tank tops (1 to 2) - For those hot days exploring the streets of Rome or Athens! Pit Stain Tip: Either go for very light (white / cream) or darker colors so you don’t show sweat stains throughout the day! Avoid light grey.

☑ Light cardigan (1 to 2) - Go for a neutral color that can go with any of your outfits!

☑ Waterproof jacket - Pack a hooded waterproof jacket for those sudden drizzles (which happen more often in some places in Europe).

Woman wearing hooded jacket

☑ Swimwear / cover up - Pack 1 to 2 options for when you hit the beach or hot springs!

☑ Activewear - Pack workout outfits (1 to 2) for those days you feel like breaking a sweat. Check to see if your hotel has a gym!

☑ Loungewear (1 to 2) - Some shorts, pajamas and shirts you can use for sleeping.

Loungewear for Europe packing list

**Thanks to Sam from Simply Organized for this photo!

☑ Bras / sports bras (2 to 3) - Pack a regular bra, strapless one and a sports bra.

☑ Underwear (5 to 7) - Pack panties per each day of your stay. Don’t forget a variety of socks (warm, ankle or foot and exercise ones).

Clothes for Dad:

☑ Jeans (1 to 2) - You can bring 2 jeans, wear 1 on the flight and pack another on the suitcase. For men, a pair of athletic jeans is a must! It’s comfy and stretchy for sightseeing trips. Then pack another pair of chino pants for more dressy night outs. 

Jeans for Europe trip packing checklist

☑ Button down shirts (1 to 2) -  Good for cooler days and can go from casual to dressy. 

☑ Casual shirts (2 to 3) - Go for merino shirts (either short or long sleeve) which are odor resistant and moisture wicking!

☑ Lightweight sweater - Pack a sweater for those chilly nights in Italy or Germany!

Sweater for Europe packing checklist

☑ Waterproof jacket - For when it gets chilly and rainy.

☑ Swimwear - Pack 1 to 2 options for beach day or hot springs!

☑ Activewear - If you have plans to go to the gym or do some workout!

☑ Loungewear (1 to 2) - Some basic boxers and sleeping shirts will do!

☑ Underwear (5 to 7) - Pack underwear per each day of your stay and also a variety of socks (warm wool and exercise ones).

Packing Clothes for Kids:

☑ Shorts / leggings / jeans (3 to 5) - Pack bottoms that are comfy since you’ll be doing lots of sightseeing. For boys, some shorts and light jeans will do. For girls, pack some shorts and leggings!

Kids clothes for Europe travel essentials

☑ Casual shirts / blouses (5 to 7) - Pack more tops for the little ones! You’ll be sampling a lot of gelatos, pizzas and pastas on your trip. If you can, invest in merino tops for your kids (they aren’t prone to odors and dry easily when washed).

☑ Light cardigans / sweaters (1 to 2) - For those chilly nights while sightseeing, always pack an extra.

☑ Waterproof jacket - In case it rains... be prepared but opt for a hooded jacket!   

☑ Swimwear - Pack 1 to 2 options, in case one gets dirty (most likely).

Kids swimwear for Europe packing must haves

☑ Loungewear (2 to 4) - Basic shirts and pajamas so your little one can be comfy around the hotel / Airbnb and while sleeping.

☑ Underwear / Socks (7 to 9) - Pack a few extra undies for the kids because accidents happen. And extra socks too!

Kid Gear:

☑ Inflatable booster car seat - Pack a portable car seat if you’re traveling with a larger kid. If you have a smaller kid, you might need to rent a regular car seat on your Europe destination.

☑ Baby carrier - Opt for a carrier with hip seat like this one cause it’s easier on your back and shoulders when carrying the baby. A stroller isn’t ideal because of the cobblestone streets in Europe. 

Mom using baby carrier in London

 Potty topper - Just nice to have especially when you’re still potty training your kid.

☑ Sippy cup - Pack no-leak sippy cups so you can just keep refilling them with water (instead of buying water bottles).


☑ Walking shoes - There’s going to be lots of walking... The Skechers Go Walk range or All Birds are both good options. They’re easy slip ons so you’ll have no trouble in the airport! 

Walking shoes for Europe trip

☑ Sandals / flats - This one’s optional for the adults for those dressy nights!

☑ Hiking / running shoes - This is also optional, if you’re planning on adventure excursions like hiking or trekking.


☑ Hat - An extra shield for the sun, go for casual, large brim or even beanies if weather will be cold.

☑ Scarf - Can keep you warm in winter and can add some extra spice to outfits.

☑ UV Sunglasses - Gotta protect those delicate eyes.

Sunglasses for Europe trip

☑ Gloves - Optional but good to bring if you’re going to particularly cold regions.


☑ Shampoo / conditioner - Optional since most hotels provide this or you can get it locally.

☑ Body wash / soap - Also optional cause most hotels provide this too.

☑ Toothbrush / toothpaste - Must bring toothbrushes for each member of the family (you can buy toothpaste locally).

Toiletries for Europe trip checklist

☑ Dental floss - Dental floss is more expensive in Europe so it’s a good idea to bring your own!

☑ Dry shampoo - For those days when you can’t sneak in a shower, dry shampoo is your friend!

☑ Disposable razor - Can also get this locally.

☑ Nail care kit - Nail clippers are a must (plus they can also work as scissors) and your other nail care essentials.

☑ Wipes - Good for makeup removal, hand cleansing and lots of other things!

☑ Facial wash - Better bring your favorite facial wash because it might not be available abroad! Put into a 3 ounce TSA Approved bottle.

☑ Moisturizer / lotion - Same goes for moisturizer or lotion, might be more expensive in Europe.

First Aid Kit:

☑ Melatonin - Melatonin work great for jet lag! You don’t have to bring the whole bottle, just a few pieces in a medicine pouch. 

☑ Regular medicines - Again, just a few pieces of meds for headache, stomach upsets, flu or allergy relief.

First aid kit for Europe trip essentials

☑ Prescription medicines - Don’t forget any prescription medicines in their original bottles!

☑ Baby / kid medicines - Especially a fever reducer and a teething gel!

 Antibiotic cream - For preventing wound infection without the ouchy feeling!

☑ Bandaids - Don’t forget the cute bandaids for your little ones.

☑ Blister cushion - We don’t recommend using new shoes for a trip to Europe. Ever. Still, pack some blister cushions so you’ll be prepared!

 Pedialyte packets - Must have especially on hot days (just add to water to replenish lost electrolytes).


☑ Smartphone - It’s ideal if each member of your crew has a smartphone for communication purposes. It’s also a great idea to purchase a local sim card if you’ll be traveling for a decent amount of time!

☑ Ebook reader - No need for packing your favorite (and heavy) novels individually. Download them onto an ebook / iPad instead. Be sure to download everything on WiFi BEFORE getting to the airport.

☑ Portable charger - We love this lipstick-shaped portable charger which fits with the whole European vibe!

Anker lipstick size portable charger

☑ All chargers - Don’t forget the chargers for all your devices! Organize and pack all wired items into an Extra Small Cube.

☑ Laptop - Decide whether you will take this or not. Ask your hotel / Airbnb if they have a safe you can leave valuables during the day.

☑ Camera - Decide whether your smartphone will suffice, or will you bring an additional camera? Remember to pack the charger for it (and extra memory card).

Other Important Essentials:

 Clear packing cubes - The easiest way to organize for your Europe trip. Allot one color Starter Set for each member of the family. Or share a suitcase with the Complete Bundle - just choose the two color option on checkout! Here are two ways to organize for your Europe tour using EzPacking cubes:

By Individual - Great for when you’re traveling for the long term. Designate pink for your little girl, blue for your son, black for dad and rose for mom.

Packing by individual for Europe trip

By City - Going on a multi-city trip? Organize outfits for each city in one Medium Cube.

Packing by city for Europe trip

 Dual voltage hair iron / dryer - Your hotel most probably has a hair dryer. But if you feel the need to bring your own, that’s okay! Just make sure that it’s a dual voltage one (along with other hair tools).

 Travel adapter kit - Another must have for charging devices at the same time.

☑ Umbrella - Just a compact one that can fit inside your day pack.

Rainy day in London

☑ Laundry soap sheets - If you’re traveling long term, bring some laundry soap sheets so you can wash your clothes on the go.

☑ Travel day bag / theft proof - Must have for moms! 

☑ Passport wallet - This one’s for the dads! Invest in an RFID-blocking passport wallet to keep your valuables safe.

 Turkish towel - A versatile piece which can be used after swimming, as a beach coverup or even as a blanket.

☑ Hair ties - Always pack more than you think...somehow they always disappear, right?

 Tide to go / Shout wipes - Very useful for removing stains on clothes (which almost always happens right after you put on a new shirt).

☑ Phrase book - So you want to blend in? Or at least know how to ask where the bathroom is? Take a book with you (or download online) to learn a few local phrases.

☑ Water bottle - A must for every day sightseeing and staying hydrated. Buying water can get pricey!

☑ Laundry bag - Use our foldable drawstring laundry bag to keep track of your dirty clothes. When you get home, toss it in the washer without any worries (yes, including the laundry bag)!

Laundry bag for dirty clothes

**Thanks to Karen from A House Full of Sunshine for this photo!

☑ Padlock for bag - Keep your belongings safe from pickpockets!

No matter where your destination is in Europe, you’re covered! Follow our Europe packing list, while adding in your own special items here and there.

Want to make your trip even more organized? Check out our best-selling packing cube set, The Complete Bundle! You get 2 sets each of our different size packing cubes. Plus a few extras to make your travel easier like a laundry bag, folding board set and 2 shoe bags!

Complete Bundle for organizing suitcase

Have an awesome trip!

- The EzPacking Team 

Europe packing list

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